Although India is the land of festivals & celebrations, Diwali is the biggest of all.
It really is the queen of festivals.
The vibe in the air is something else.
Its all twinkling lights, marigold flowers & rangoli colours.
The houses are freshly painted. Or at least vigorously cleaned, all spick & span.
Everyone is dressed in their best outfits.
The air is full of an earthy aroma. That of mustard oil diyas & boondi ladoos.
Back in the day I would associate Diwali with the smell of barood.
Guilty of bursting a humongous amount of crackers when young.
While in Jaipur, Diwali was incomplete without a visit to the 62 Patakha shop in Badi Chaupad.
The skill with which our father would select the best crackers, is a joyous memory.
The insane 80% discount everyone would get, is something so ridiculous yet so funny.
My sister, brother & I would be over the moon carrying the big carton of crackers back home.
However, over the past few years have made a conscious effort to not burst crackers.
Or maybe just a shagun ki ladi :-).
The elaborate Lakshmi pooja at home & in office is something one looks forward to every year.
Thanks to my grand-father in law & father in law, Diwali is celebrated with a lot of zest & fervor here in our Bangalore home.
But there is something about Diwali that makes you miss the home you grew up in.
Because there is Diwali and then there is Jaipur Ki Diwali.
Unmatched to say the least.
The city is lit up like a bride. Every nook & cranny glows.
The bird’s eye view from Nahargarh Fort is breathtaking.
Personal visits are payed to friends & family to exchange Diwali goodies.
The festivities go until the wee hours of the morning.
There have been times while studying at Gurgaon, when I have sat in the Volvo bus for straight 12 hours to get home for the festivities. A journey that normally takes 5 hours.
But the roads would be choca-bloc. The roads leading home.
Also remember the time while working in Bombay, I decided not to go home for Diwali.
A day before the festival, my heart sank at the thought of being alone & away from home.
A very emotional call was placed to my father to book an exorbitantly priced ticket to get to Jaipur.
A mistake no one should make. If the situation permits, you better be home for Diwali.
It’s a festival that calls for you to be with the family, friends & food.
So here’s wishing everyone a bright & beautiful Diwali. Full of love, light & ladoos.
Shoes: Charles & Keith